Trinity Western University

Awards & Celebrations

Full Professor Inaugural Celebrations 

Recent Inaugural Lectures

April 2016 - Paul Rowe, Ph.D., Professor and Coordinator of Political and International Studies. "Ataturk in my Pocket:  a journey in religion and politics"

Growing up in a devoutly Christian home, it came naturally for me to see public life through the prism of religious faith.  How unnatural it would be to try to separate the most important part of one’s life from one’s political ideas!  But this is exactly what the modernizers of the past century tried to do:  secularize public life to ensure that religious differences wouldn’t put us at each other’s throats.  It was a laudable goal, but it has also created a blind spot where faith used to be.  In the past two decades, politics and political science has rediscovered religion with a vengeance – sometimes literally.  In this lecture, we will explore some of the ways in which religion has returned to politics and by which religion can have a constructive role to play in the political sphere of even the most divided societies. 

Biography: Paul Rowe, Ph.D., Professor and Coordinator of Political and International Studies

Paul Rowe has been a member the faculty at TWU since 2005, teaching in the fields of international relations and developing world politics.  Prior to coming to TWU, Dr. Rowe taught part-time at the University of Western Ontario and Queen’s University.  A native of London, Ontario, Dr. Rowe completed his BA in International Relations and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Toronto in 1995.  For a time he lived and worked in the Middle East prior to completing his MA in Political Science at Dalhousie University in 1997 and his PhD in Political Science at McGill University in 2003.  Dr. Rowe’s research interests are in the intersection of religion and global politics, with regional specialties in the Middle East and South Asia.  He is the author of Religion and Global Politics (Oxford University Press Canada, 2012), and co-edited Whose Will be Done?  Essays in Sovereignty and Religion (Lexington Books, 2015), Christians and the Middle East Conflict (Routledge UK, 2014), and Politics and the Religious Imagination (Routledge UK, 2010).  He is currently editing The Routledge Handbook of Minorities in the Middle East.         


March 2016 - Kelsey Haskett -"A FAITH JOURNEY IN THE WORLD OF ACADEME"

Department of World Languages and Cultures.

 In reflecting on my life for this lecture, it became clear to me that my professional journey was totally entwined in my spiritual journey. From my decision to go to graduate school to the topic of my doctoral thesis, from my years in Quebec to my years in B.C., from my teaching at TWU to summer trips to France for research and professional development, I have seen God’s hand on my life in often unexpected ways. Inexplicable as well, even to me at times, has been my focus on contemporary French writer, playwright, and filmmaker Marguerite Duras, whose fictional world is very far removed from my own. Her world could be defined, very simply, as a world without love and without God. It is a world of seeking and never finding, of pain and despair, of solitude and death. It is also essentially a world of female characters, living in a state of emptiness and personal negation, while pursuing the only path they know to eliminate the void, that of sexual desire. Their initially fragile identity in Duras’ works progressively weakens, as relationships grow less and less personal and more and more destructive. And yet, in the midst of this pain, a cry goes up for a radically different life experience, while a quest goes on for both an absolute of love and an absolute of being that in Duras’ world is unattainable. It is this quest that has drawn me to Duras, with a sense that God has led me into this very world, to cross paths with others who are also part of the quest, with the hope that through my writing or in real life, I will be able to mirror the certainty that the unreachable place of infinite love can actually be attained.  

BIOGRAPHY : Kelsey Haskett, Ph.D., Department of World Languages and Cultures

Kelsey Haskett received her Hon. B.A. in French from the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, where she grew up. She obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. in French Literature from Laval University in Quebec City, where she was also a leader and resident of a home for young women in the inner city. After teaching French at St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick for three years, she came to Trinity Western University in 1989 to set up the French program. Over the years, she has developed and taught almost all of the French courses, although her main focus is on French and Quebec literature. Besides designing the French program, with two streams leading to a minor and concentration, she also supervised the development of other languages in the department, becoming chair of the newly-created Modern Language Department in 2003, now the Department of World Languages and Cultures. She was responsible for developing both the European Studies Major (with Drs. John Klassen and Jens Zimmermann), and the Major in World Languages and Cultures. She also teaches French Civilization on a regular basis in the summer program of the Jacques Lefèvere Institute, in Normandy, France.

Her main area of research is French women’s literature. She co-edited, with Holly Faith Nelson, French Women Authors: the Significance of the Spiritual (1400-2000), published by the University of Delaware Press. This collective work, to which she contributed two chapters, focuses on the spiritual thought and writing of French women authors over the centuries. In 2011, she published Dans le miroir des mots: identité féminine et relations familiales dans l’œuvre romanesque de Marguerite Duras, a major study of Duras’ novels. She contributed a chapter to the book entitled Christian Worldview and the Academic Disciplines, and has published articles in the Journal of Christianity and World Languages and Intégrité: A Faith and Learning Journal. She is currently president of the Christian Association of World Languages, having been an active member since 1992. She is also a member of the Association des Professeurs de Français des Universités et Collèges du Canada, the Société Internationale Marguerite Duras, and the Association Marguerite Duras, in France. She enjoys spending summers in France, doing research and writing, meeting friends and colleagues, and exploring France’s rich culture. 

February 2016 - Angela Konrad - "Confessions of a Drama Queen: How Theatre Can Change the World"

Whenever I talk to someone who doesn’t attend theatre, it takes several attempts to explain my existence. Once I make clear that what I do and care about is not movies, mega-musicals, or the road production of a Broadway hit, I am frequently left looking at a blank and nodding face emitting an indeterminate sound intended to communicate comprehension. The truth is, few people attend theatre and even fewer understand it. 

Theatre’s place in academia is equally uncertain. A strange discipline that seems to have more in common with extra-curricular sports than serious intellectual pursuits, theatre is at best seen as ‘fun’ or ‘entertaining’ but certainly not essential. And given the longstanding mistrust of theatre by the Church, the presence of a theatre department and theatre artists within a faith-based University is nothing short of perplexing. 

What on earth has theatre to offer the university? The Christian Church? Culture as a whole? In my lecture, I will begin to answer these questions, explaining why I believe acting training should be part of the core curriculum (especially at a Christian University) and how, properly practiced, theatre can indeed change the world. With any luck, it will also be entertaining.

Biography: Angela Konrad - Chair, Department of Theatre
Angela began teaching part-time at TWU in 1993, and accepted a tenure-track appointment in 2001. Her primary teaching areas are acting and directing, as well as directing at least one show each year as part of the SAMC Theatre season. Angela obtained a BA in Theatre from a small liberal arts college in Iowa, went on to graduate theological studies at Regent College, and received her MFA in Directing from the University of Victoria.Angela received an Ovation Award nomination for Outstanding Direction for SAMC Theatre’s The Drowsy Chaperone, which was also nominated for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Set Design. For Pacific Theatre, Angela has directed Emil Sher’s Mourning Dove, Arlene Hutton’s Last Train to Nibroc, Marsha Norman’s Traveler in the Dark, and Craig Wright’s Grace, which won Jessie Awards for Outstanding Production and Direction. Her production of Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train for Glass City Theatre, won three Jessie Awards, including Outstanding Production. Up next: Margaret Edson’s funny and moving Pulitzer Prize-winner Wit at Pacific Theatre in May. Angela is immensely grateful for her husband Wilf and daughters Delaney and Franklyn whose love and support make everything possible.

November 2015 - Monika Hilder,  "Following the ‘Invisible Thread’: What C.S. Lewis Knew About Sexism and Why We Might Care"

Was C.S. Lewis sexist? The question of gender and the related problem of sexism is one of the hottest topics of our time, and in this debate Lewis has often been denounced as sexist or even misogynistic. But what if Lewis was not reactionary but prophetic? What if he challenges the cultural chauvinism that affects every area of life, whether personal or global? In her lecture, Monika will examine these questions in light of the two divergent Western heroic paradigms through which we see life—classical or spiritual heroism—and will argue that it is not Lewis who is sexist: it is us. In particular, she will discuss Lewis’s views of science and technology in the twin books, The Abolition of Man and That Hideous Strength. She will conclude with some thoughts from the writer who once whimsically called himself the “‘old woman’ of Oxford”—thoughts that may inspire us in how we do life.

Biography: Monika Hilder, Ph.D., Department of English & Creative Writing

Dr. Monika Hilder joined the faculty at Trinity Western University in 1995, where she teaches children’s and fantasy literature. She previously taught in public high schools in Germany and in Vancouver. She received her Ph.D. in literature education from Simon Fraser University, for which she was awarded the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal for Academic Excellence. Her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English are from The University of British Columbia. She has published on George MacDonald, L.M. Montgomery, Madeleine L’Engle, literature as ethical imagination, and recently a three-volume study on C.S. Lewis: The Feminine Ethos in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia; The Gender Dance: Ironic Subversion in C.S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy; Surprised by the Feminine: A Rereading of C.S. Lewis and Gender. She is co-founder and co-director of Inklings Institute of Canada. She and Emanuel are the proud parents of Natalie, Jessica, and David.

October 2015 - Janet Epp Buckingham, "Magna Carta, Rule of Law and Religious Freedom"

2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the first Magna Carta at Runnymede, England. This charter was the first of many steps to establishing the rule of law and religious freedom and is seen as foundational for the development of the British democratic system. It has had a global impact, particularly in former colonies of England, including Canada. 

In her lecture, Janet will discuss the foundations of the rule of law and religious freedom in Magna Carta and explain how this is reflected in Canadian law. She will conclude with some thoughts on the impact and importance of Magna Carta in international law, particularly in relation to protection of religious freedom.

Biography: Janet Epp Buckingham, LL.D., Director, Laurentian Leadership Centre 

Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham joined the faculty at Trinity Western University in 2006 as the Director of the Laurentian Leadership Centre in Ottawa. She previously served as Director, Law and Public Policy, for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and Executive Director of the Christian Legal Fellowship. She is one of the lead developers of the proposal for a law school at Trinity Western University. Janet has numerous academic publications on religious freedom, and has most recently published a book on the history of religious freedom in Canada, Fighting over God. She has been interviewed on radio and television talk shows and print media, and is a frequent public speaker.


September 2015 - Paul Chamberlain - "Religion and Violence"

Paul’s lecture will address the subject of his latest book, Why People Don’t Believe (Baker). 

Is Christianity the source of great benefit to the world or is it, along with the rest of religion, the source of violence and intolerance?  A number of influential thinkers throughout the western world today are making the case through lectures, the media, and best-selling books for the latter negative conception.  Disturbed by suicide attacks, terrorist raids, abortion clinic bombings and the like, seemingly done out of religious motivations, certain critics argue that religion, in its very nature, is the problem and ought to be eradicated to ensure a better world, or possibly a world at all.  To make matters worse, some religious extremists are arming themselves with chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, a fact which has led some to assert that words like “God” and “Allah” must go the way of “Apollo” and “Baal” or religious people will destroy us all. 

In his lecture, Paul will set out a few of these charges against religion, including Christianity, and then provide a basic structure for how to reflect on and respond to them from a broader religious vantage point and also from a specifically Christian perspective.  

Biography: Paul Chamberlain, Ph.D. (ACTS) 

Dr. Paul Chamberlain joined TWU’s department of philosophy in 1990 and taught there until 2000.  He then moved to the ACTS division where he is the director of the Institute for Christian Apologetics and teaches apologetics, ethics and philosophy of religion.  He has also worked with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries during part of his time at TWU.  Paul has appeared on numerous radio and television talk shows, lectured and debated on other university campuses, and is a frequent guest speaker at public functions.  He is the author of four books: Can We be Good Without GodFinal Wishes, How To Talk About Good and Bad Without Getting Ugly: A Guide to Moral Persuasion, and Why People Don’t Believe: Confronting Seven Challenges to Christian Faith as well as a number of articles addressing current social and moral issues. 

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